Monday, May 14, 2012


By Belarminio A. Zorrilla

            Noise is one of the main sources of neighbors’ complaints in San Vicente de Paul. The situation is created by evangelical churches which are indifferent to the rights of others, as a form of aggressive behavior to preach the gospel. Besides, Businesses that serve to the interests of costumers and patrons are causing a negative environmental impact on residents. They are suffering and feel helpless and are trapped in their own homes.

            The first aspect to mention is noise generated by big grocery stores that are affecting residents in San Vicente de Paul neighborhood. With the purpose to augment the sales, owners of big grocery stores have adapted the place with modern television sets, powerful radios, chairs, and tables on the side walk so that clients can dance, listen to their favorite music, watch sport games, and drink alcoholic beverages in a comfortable atmosphere.  As a consequence, a noisy crowd of people and cars with loud music come to increase the scandal, especially on weekends. The noise lasts until 12:00 a.m., interfering with the peace and quiet in the neighborhood at night. The Most affected are neighbors, who live near by. They complain because they can not sleep and be tranquil. As a result, neighbors are determined to attend to the neighborhood community meetings to discuss the problem with residents who are experiencing the same problem and identify possible solutions.  Consequently, affected residents form groups to talk with the owners of the big grocery stores. They just agree to close their businesses early Monday through Friday. For this reason, residents decided to complain to the authorities, but they do not seem to have control over the situation because on weekends, the noise produced by these businesses is still considerable.

The second aspect to mention is noise form liqueur stores which is one of the main causes of sonic contamination and in San Vicente de Paul neighborhood. Outdoor liqueur stores have increased in San Vicente, especially on Libertad Avenue. These kinds of businesses install tables and chairs within a designated area on the sidewalk to serve alcoholic drinks and play music until late at night.  On weekends, the situation is unbearable. Visitors with powerful music equipments park their vehicles and in addition to the crowd that visit the place, they impede the free transit. They also produce all kinds of disturbances and contaminate the area. For example, people urinate around the houses.  There have been some shooting among people who start quarrel after they are drunk. Also, this type of businesses promote vices. Some young people are permitted to smoke hookah there, which is a kind of drug. Loud music can be heard from a long distance. Liqueur stores have become a big trouble for the people who live around. They complain not only for the loud noise but also for the mess created by this type of businesses. As a result, some neighbors have moved to other places and others have decided to talk about the situation to the neighbors’ council who made a committee and complained to the police. The only thing that they do is visit the area more frequently. As a consequence, the problem has been reduced just a little bit.
            The third aspect to mention is noise from churches in my community which is one of the main focuses of sonic contamination. Congregations of evangelical churches are taking over the streets by using loud speakers, amplifiers, drums, and electronic guitars.  In addition, the loud voice of the pastors during their preaching is excessive and also the participation of the parishioners. They dance, shout, and celebrate the manifestation of the holy ghost without any control. These religious activities produce a lot of noise that cause serious problems among the neighbors who live around and it is worse for the people who live the near by. They say that the noise comes in through the windows. Due to this, they can not even talk and the children can not study. This way, their preaching is imposed to people who do not want to hear or belong to other kinds of churches. As a result, the neighbors decided to talk with the preachers about the situation, but they say that the Devil does not want the gospel of God to be spread. On the contrary, the neighbors say that pastors confuse the word of God with a mess because they do not come to an agreement. The problem was brought to the neighbors’ council who mediated between both parties. Consequently, affected residents and preachers expressed their point of view in the meeting of the neighbors’ council. At last, pastors agreed to slow the noise down.

To sum up, Churches, outdoor Liqueur Stores, and big grocery stores are violating the right of the neighbors when they do not respect the public area and the space of others. As a result, residents demand a better protection from people who respond to their own interest. They need support from government agencies and the police, which some times are driven by economic ambition. Some times, they prefer to protect local businesses owners instead of residents. Also, political influence typically diminishes the initiatives to reduce noise, so the achievements in this matter have been brought to the neighbors’ council, which now represents the best interests of the community.

San Francisco de Macorís 2012

1 comment:

  1. This problem is affecting every single neiborhood in San Francisco de Macorís.I think this is one of the noisiest city in the country and we'd better work together in order to become a real community: where people look for their neighbors' welfare...